Martha Rosler's Bringing the War Home: House Beautiful, 1967-1972: An Interrogation of the American Dream
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Rosler’s 1967-1972 series, Bringing the War Home: House Beautiful conflates images of domestic interiors with images of combat related to the Vietnam War. This thesis places the series within the socio-political context of the Cold War examining the manner in which Rosler utilizes specific elements of governmental ideology and rhetoric to implicate the viewer in complicity with American involvement in Vietnam. The dissemination of governmental ideology through advertising, the effects of desire, and the critique of consumption conveyed by this series are investigated. The series is analyzed in terms of Sigmund Freud’s theory of the Uncanny and in relation to historic use of photomontage. In the final chapter, Rosler’s revival of the series, begun in 2004, is compared to the original in terms of its ability to effectively alter the viewer’s perception of the war in Iraq in terms of politics, media, and institutional context.